2 Cor 6:1
Steven Lo Vullo
slovullo at mac.com
Tue Jan 7 23:59:35 EST 2003
On Tuesday, January 7, 2003, at 05:01 PM, Paul Toseland wrote:
> Finally, syntax. Steve, you wrote,
>> Considering that PARAKALEW in this type of construction introduces an
>> infinitive in indirect command or prohibition, it appears obvious to
>> that the sense of PARAKALEW in these cases must be something along the
>> lines of "urge." This would have the same sense as an imperative in an
> I don't see how you reason back from the fact of an infinitve of
> discourse constructed with PARAKALEW to the meaning of that verb. Are
> simply saying that ths type of construction occurs only when PARAKALEW
> has the sense, 'urge', and never when it means 'console'? If so, I am
> asking whether Paul, following the normal rules of grammar, might have
> chosen to construct PARAKALEW with an infinitive of indirect discourse,
> even though this would be unusual, or even unique. He uses KATALASSW in
> 5:18 in a way that appears to have been unique up to that time. I would
> be happy to accept that the language simply doesn't work like that; I
> would like to be sure, one way or the other. But I am afraid I am not
> yet convinced!
Note that I am not simply reasoning back. I have seen this construction
many times, but since I was at work today when I responded, I didn't
have time to gather them and present them. The fact is that when Paul
uses this construction it is PARAKALEW **invariably** introduces what
in Greek I think we could call an indirect exhortation, since the
direct speech would be put in the imperative. The imperative, of
course, may be used in exhortation. Note **all** the examples in the
Pauline corpus of this construction:
Rom 12.1 PARAKALW ... hUMAS ... PARASTHSAI TA SWMATA hUMWN QUSIAN ZWSAN
hAGIAN EUARESTON TWi QEWi
"I urge ... you ... to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy
and acceptable to God"
Rom 15.30 PARAKALW ... hUMAS ... SUNAGWNISASQAI MOI EN TAIS PROSEUCAIS
hUPER EMOU PROS TON QEON
"I urge ... you ... to strive together with me in your prayers to God
on my behalf"
Rom 16.17 PARAKALW ... hUMAS ... SKOPEIN TOUS TAS DICOSTASIAS KAI TA
SKANDALA PARA THN DIDACHN hHN hUMEIS EMAQETE POIOUNTAS
"I urge .. you ... to watch out for those who cause divisions and
create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught"
2 Cor 2.8 PARAKALW hUMAS KURWSAI EIS AUTON AGAPHN
"I urge you to reaffirm your love for him"
2 Cor 6.1 PARAKALOUMEN MH EIS KENON THN CARIN TOU QEOU DEXASQAI hUMAS
"we urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain"
Eph 4.1 PARAKALW ... hUMAS ... AXIWS PERIPATHSAI THS KLHSEWS hHS
"I urge ... you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you
have been called"
Phil 4.2 EUODIAN PARAKALW KAI SUNTUCHN PARAKALW TO AUTO FRONEIN
"I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to agree in the Lord"
1 Th 4.10 PARAKALOUMEN ... hUMAS ... PERISSEUEIN MALLON
"We urge ... you ... to excel still more"
1Tim 1.3 PAREKALESA SE PROSMEINAI EN EFESWi
"I urged you to remain in Ephesus"
Titus 2.6 TOUS NEWTEROUS hWSAUTWS PARAKALEI SWFRONEIN
"Urge the younger men to be self-controlled"
It is not just a question of reasoning back from the fact of the
infinitive. It is that **in every case without exception** when Paul
uses PARAKALEW in the active to introduce an infinitive with an
accusative subject (explicit or implied) it is in an indirect
exhortation. In fact, as far as I can tell, this is invariably the case
in every instance of this construction in the GNT (cf. Mark 5.17; Luke
8.41; Acts 8.31; 11.23; 14.22; 19.31; 24.4; 27.33, 34; Heb 13.19; 1 Pet
2.11; 5.12; Jude 3). Note especially the negative exhortation in Acts
19.31. I think this is one of those happy occasions when the
syntactical evidence is so overwhelming that we can reject with
certainty those suggestions that run counter to the sense clearly
displayed in the mass of parallels.
No offense, Paul, but appealing to the "discourse level" strikes me in
this case as an example of how **not** to use discourse analysis, i.e.,
to trump an assured conclusion from syntax, especially since this
construction is used in 2 Cor 2.8 and PARAKALEW is used in the sense
of "urge" only two verses before this one! And I find making a case on
Paul's quote from Isaiah dubious, since it is based on part of the text
of Isaiah that Paul **does not** quote. It is important to determine
his purpose for using what he **did** quote, which seems in the context
to be to emphasize the need for immediate action. Note the emphatic
position of NUN in its two uses in 2 Cor 6.1. It is NOW when they must
"be reconciled to God" and must take seriously the exhortation about
receiving the grace of God in vain. This strikes me as similar to Rom
13.11-12. There is an **urgency** in the **urging**.
It is important to see the connection between 5.20 and 6.1. The sense
of 6.1 is, "Because we are fellow workers [with God] we also [along
with God] urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain." When Paul
says we ALSO, i.e., along with God, he is calling attention to what
precedes in 5.20 (God himself making an urgent appeal to them through
Paul to be reconciled) and to what God said in the following quote from
Isaiah, which shows that God has the same urgent word for the
Corinthians as Paul does. Both he and God emphasize the urgency for
reconciliation and the need to avoid receiving the grace of God in
vain. Nothing that precedes or follows suggests the that Paul was
comforting the Corinthians with the idea that all is well. They needed
reconciliation both with God (5.20) and with Paul (6.13). It was urgent
that they waste no time in doing both, because NOW is the acceptable
time, NOW is the day of salvation. They must not miss their opportunity.
Steven R. Lo Vullo
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